Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 8th 2014 Contents do so with the health and agriculture min-
istries, he said.
Responding to concerns that long after
the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico
fish showed mutations, Dyal said, "That
involved millions of barrels of oil over two
months. This is a short, acute two-week
Detta's wildlife orphanage
Workers at the Emperor Valley Zoo have
been mobilised and waiting to rehabilitate
an influx of oiled wildlife from La Brea, but
to date they have gotten nothing, says Gupte
Lutchmedial, president of the Zoological
Society of T&T.
"We spent $12,000 in equipment, kits,
cleaning agents and have re-trained volun-
teers. The staff is all buoyed up but we don t
have any work to do," he told the T&T
"Nobody would be happier than us to
get involved. That s what we do. Rescue
animals. But there are no oiled birds, just
dead fish and crabs. We can t help dead
Lutchmedial said Claxton Bay fisherfolk
had called him to report they were seeing
oiled birds and he went in a pirogue and
toured the coastline. He said he saw hun-
dreds of pelicans and other birds, but they
were flying and sittings on boats with no
oil on them.
"A team from the zoo visited the area
over ten times but has found no oiled birds."
Meanwhile, van Aardt Buch has been kept
busy at the WORC with a small but growing
number of oiled birds. She had an oiled pel-
ican who is so well now he is ferocious and
snapping at everybody, she said.
"He is good to go."
Seven little sandpipers were not so lucky.
They suffocated from oil in their nostrils
and all died, she said.
Then two other birds came in, one of
which, a laughing gull, died of renal failure
due to oil absorption, according to the autop-
sy, van Aardt Buch said.
She said she did not get as many birds
as she expected and suspected many may
be flying around infected.
"We are simply going to have to wait. In
the next few weeks, according to the toxicity,
you may find them sitting around some-
Van Aardt Buch said she felt Petrotrin
had been making every effort to deal with
the situation and could not be faulted, espe-
cially since the spill may not even have been
of their making.
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Environmentalists, who have been complaining of
Petrotrin s lack of organised wildlife response are, at
the same time, seeing few dead birds in the oil spill
on the south-western coastline.
Others reported finding an oiled bird here and
The Emperor Valley Zoo, mobilised and waiting
to rehabilitate oiled wildlife, has gotten no work, to
And the Wildlife Orphanage and Rehabilitation
Centre (WORC) says it has not gotten as many birds
as it expected.
Petrotrin is claiming the effect of the spill on
wildlife is not significant, but environmentalists are
warning of longer-term effects.
Marc de Verteuil, of Papa Bois Conservation, posted
on Facebook that he saw an oiled pelican at the Ota-
heite fishing centre which flew away from him. He
said fishermen at Otaheite say they have seen many
birds like this.
De Verteuil said he also saw two dead pelicans
coated in oil on the beach near Labidco and at Queen s
Beach he saw a Petrotrin staff member holding an
Stephen Broadbridge, another Papa Bois member,
criticised Petrotrin for misleading the public and not
even having a wildlife rehabilitation station set up
in the area. But Broadbridge said the group hardly
saw any dead birds, something he described as strange.
"We didn t see many dead birds. Strangely few.
For such an oil spill, there has been so few. I m hoping
nobody has been collecting them," Broadbridge said.
De Verteuil said he asked a Petrotrin HSE worker
if they had a response plan to protect wildlife and
he said he didn t know.
"It s clear to me, there was no planned wildlife
"Nobody was keeping count. We ll never know
how much wildlife died or how many fish died of
De Verteuil said according to the National Oil Spill
Contingency Plan, oiled wildlife ought to be sent for
rehabilitation by the Wildlife Section of the Forestry
Division to a registered rehabilitation centre.
He said the only registered centre in T&T is WORC
in Diego Martin, which is run by Detta van Aardt
He reported that representatives of the Wildlife
Section of the Forestry Division were not present in
The T&T Guardian contacted Shyam Dyal, manager
of Petrotrin s health, safety and the environment
department on the issue. He refuted de Verteuil s
claim that there was no organised wildlife response.
"Petrotrin does have an organised wildlife response
and rehabilitation system in place. We contracted an
oil wildlife rescue team," Dyal said.
"Eight professionals have been on the beach
throughout the day and night. If oiled wildlife is res-
cued, they are given initial treatment and then taken
for rehabilitation to the Emperor Valley Zoo and non-
Dyal said, so far, the team had rescued four oiled
birds, including pelicans.
"They have been cleaned and rehabilitated and
will be released later this week."
He said the overall impact of the oil spill on wildlife
has not been as significant as Petrotrin expected.
He said the company is working with the Envi-
ronmental Management Authority to develop a longer-
term monitoring plan, which included watching the
effects of the spill on crustaceans.
Petrotrin has not conducted tests on fish being
sold in the market for any toxicity, but planned to
Oil spill response upsets environmentalists but
Few distressed animals found
This photo, taken by Marc de Verteuil, of Papa Bois Conservation, over the weekend,
shows an oil-covered pelican at Otaheite. On his Facebook page, de Verteuil said he tried
several times to capture the bird to rehabilitate it but it had just enough energy to fly
away from him each time.
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